If Derek Chauvin is found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.
For too long, the use of a chokehold by a police officer in the arrest of a black man, George Floyd, in May 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was a violation of the job description. This was stated by the head of the police department of the city of Medaria Arradondo, giving evidence at the ongoing trial.
The trial began on March 8. The accused is former police officer Derek Chauvin, who used a chokehold during Floyd’s arrest on May 25 last year. The African-American man died shortly after. On May 26, Chauvin and three other police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired. The defendant is charged with manslaughter. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.
As Arradondo noted, speaking about the actions of former subordinates, “in the first few seconds, it made sense to try to get him [Floyd] under control.” Arradondo stressed that Floyd should have been released from the hold when he “stopped resisting.” According to him, the police should have responded immediately when the African-American stopped showing signs of life. Chauvin, as seen in the published recordings, for more than eight minutes, pressed his knee on the neck of Floyd, who was lying on the asphalt in handcuffs.
“I strongly object to the fact that it was a proportionate use of force in that situation,” Arradondo said. He stressed that Chauvin’s actions contradicted the job description. Arradondo noted that police officers in Minneapolis are not taught to “indefinitely press a knee on the neck of a man lying in handcuffs.”
Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, a medic who tried to treat Floyd when he was taken to the hospital, also testified at the trial. He noted that the cause of death of the African-Americans was probably a lack of oxygen. “This is one of the most likely possibilities,” he said. Langenfeld also stated that the lack of oxygen could be caused by the action of some drugs that Floyd took.